Phillips Sets Reds HR Mark In 7-0 Win
Wednesday, September 5th 2007, 2:22 pm
By: News On 6
CINCINNATI (AP) _ Brandon Phillips broke the Cincinnati Reds' record for homers by a second baseman Wednesday, hitting a two-run shot during a 7-0 victory that ended the New York Mets' five-game winning streak.
Right-hander Tom Shearn (2-0), a 30-year-old rookie relishing his long-awaited trip to the big leagues, gave up only three hits in six innings to a Mets lineup missing five of its regulars.
Phillips' 28th homer in the first inning off John Maine (14-9) surpassed Hall of Famer Joe Morgan's previous club mark for a second baseman. Phillips also homered in his last at-bat on Tuesday night.
Top hitting prospect Joey Votto homered for his first major league hit, helping the Reds emerge from a five-game losing streak that ended all talk of them sneaking back into contention in September.
The Mets headed for home in a good frame of mind.
The NL East leaders got swept in a four-game series in Philadelphia last week, letting the Phillies pull within two games. Instead of getting tight, the Mets got on their best run of the season.
They won five in a row before their loss Wednesday, putting themselves back in control. The Mets' best winning streak of the season was built upon a top-to-bottom offensive splurge _ 46 runs over a six-game span.
After nearly a week of running the bases nonstop, manager Willie Randolph decided to give some of his regulars a day off. Moises Alou, Shawn Green, Paul Lo Duca and Jose Reyes were out of the starting lineup for a day game following a night game.
Also, the Mets were missing first baseman Carlos Delgado, who pulled muscles in his right hip on a swing Tuesday night. Delgado was sent for a precautionary medical test to make sure the injury isn't serious.
The Reds relished a victory that featured Phillips' noteworthy homer and good showings by two players right out of the minors _ an up-and-coming prospect and a 30-something pitcher who fretted that he'd never get this far.
Votto's first homer was a hint of things to come. The 23-year-old first baseman is the Reds' top hitting prospect, winning the Southern League's MVP last year. He hit a solo homer off the facing of the batter's eye in center field in the second inning, humbly rounding the bases while looking at the ground.
Teammates ignored him in the dugout, a traditional hazing for a first homer. Votto grinned as he walked past them, then was surrounded for congratulations. Votto later added a pair of singles.
Edwin Encarnacion also had three hits and drove in a pair of runs, helping Shearn get another serendipitous victory. The right-hander spent 12 years in the minors _ one of them recovering from elbow surgery _ and was living in the groundskeeper's camper at Triple-A Louisville when he got his long-awaited promotion on Aug. 26.
Notes: Maine lasted only 4 1-3 innings, his second-shortest start of the season. He gave up nine hits and six runs. ... Votto's homer came in his second major league at-bat. He pinch-hit on Tuesday night and struck out. ... Votto is the third Reds player to homer for his first big-league hit this season. OF Josh Hamilton and C Ryan Jorgensen also did it. ... Morgan hit 27 homers in 1976, when the Big Red Machine won its second straight World Series.